Various Japanese magazines have lately been reporting that a "CUV" (Compact Utility Vehicle) version of the Mitsubishi Lancer Sportback may be on the horizon, with the international market in Mitsubishi's sights for a 2010 launch. Given the slowly-but-surely falling sales of larger SUVs, more than a few manufacturers are pushing in this direction, and Mitsubishi clearly have no intention of being left out.
According to the artist rendering above, the Lancer Sportback X as it's been dubbed would feature the requisite raised suspension, as well as Outback-like cladding added to the guards, and a slightly revised grille sits up front.
Details on the mechanical side of things are thin on the ground, of course, but the obvious speculation at the moment is that the crossover would carry the full-time 4WD driveline of either the Evolution X or the Ralliart Lancer (which uses the driveline from the Evo IX), and that of course leads us to assume we could expect to see it breathing through the turbocharged 2.0 litre 4B11 engine found in the Evolution X.
What do you think, folks? Is this a corker of an idea, or simply an irritating watering down of the Evolution image?